A New Blogger's Homesteading Journey Begins

| 2/1/2013 2:35:49 PM

Tags: modern homesteading, the happy homesteader blog, rural living, country skills, permaculture, mother earth news, cathie ackroyd,

Hello, all. My name is Cathie.

I am so very thrilled at being invited to write blog posts for MotherEarthNews.com. I have been blogging at BecomingDomestic.co.uk for a number of years now since my husband and I impulsively left lucrative high-tech careers in London, UK, to downshift with our toddler twins towards a simpler, more practical and rural way of living.
Cathie Ackroyd 

We sold our house and started renting the first of what turned out to be many lovely houses in some of the UK’s most scenic places. At first, I had very few practical skills. In fact, I did not even know how to look after my own children as they had been cared for full-time by daycare staff. I used to drop them off before breakfast and collect them at bedtime.

Since that first house move, we have become so very conscious of the impact we humans have had and are having on our planet’s environment and hoped to find a place to settle that would allow us to gain an element of self-sufficiency in a relatively car-free community.

Over the past seven years, the Becoming Domestic family have sampled some incredible rural smallholdings, co-housing setups, an eco-village, have attended full Permaculture Design Courses, learned the basics of green woodworking, carpentry, crocheting, knitting, sewing and animal husbandry, kept rare sheep breeds (called Holly, Molly, Polly and Dolly), have home educated our kids for a while and obtained planning permission for a straw bale, timber-framed, south-facing home to be built in the middle of a market town.

Last year we took the bold step of buying a 26-acre area of deciduous woodland, wetland and scruffy pastureland with our combined pension pots. We then relocated one last time to a 1960’s house fairly near to it in a small old town in North Shropshire, UK. The surrounding area is one of very old farms and farming families, mainly dairy and vegetables. The town itself has a railway station and is near the canal network, so we feel well connected.

Cathie Ackroyd
2/5/2013 6:24:25 PM

Hey Heather, Paula, Bruce. Many thanks for your encouraging comments. I'm really enjoying discovering the Happy Homesteader blog and have a huge load of archives to dip into for inspiration. Bruce - your comment had me thinking today about the difference between US Homesteading and the UK equivalent so today have submitted my second post in response to these musings. It certainly will be interesting for us in the UK where there is no homesteading movement as such but a long tradition of rural thrift and smallholdung ingrained in most country folk... Best wishes all. Cathie

2/4/2013 4:54:39 PM

Love finding this blog! You're doing such an amazing thing and I hope to learn a ton from you. Blessings- Heather D, USA

2/3/2013 12:33:59 PM

Good luck, Cathie. We're doing something similar in France (couldn't afford to buy in England). I'll be interested to see how you get on and what ideas you have. If you're interested in my blog, let me know.

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